Written by: Caitlyn Conibear
“Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.” -Elizabeth Andrews, the first woman organiser of the Labor Party in Wales. Volunteering not only plays a vital role for businesses and organizations but it also effects the volunteers.There are many great qualities someone can get from volunteering, not only skills like interpersonal and problem solving but even being able to build leadership and strengthening professional networking. This is why volunteering is so important in schools as well. Giving students the opportunity to go out into their communities, or farther, and help, really gives her students a chance to get hands on with projects and see the change happen right in front of their eyes. One of the biggest volunteering opportunity is participating in your school’s alternative spring break.
This year Niagara County Community College (NCCC) is offering students the chance to go to Memphis, Tennessee for a week and help out children and their families. In the first couple of days, students will find themselves at St. Jude Children’s Hospital doing crafts with some of the kids and even playing Disney Bingo. Students will also help out at Target House, a short term facility where families can go and stay if they have a child at St. Judes. Towards the end of the trip students will get the chance to visit some Midsouth food banks and help prepare and serve meals for the less fortunate. Down in the student life office at NCCC is where you can find Rebecca Link, who is one of the supporting staff members putting this trip together and has been on the trips before, believes that volunteering can really affect someone and how they see the world.
As a volunteer at RosWell herself she says that she really loves doing it, not just for herself but for the community as well. She explains that “it gives someone a sense of feeling that their doing something to help people out and they feel better about themself”. Last year Rebecca went along to New Orleans with the school for spring break where she said students got to rebuild homes. Here students got to see how their actions where truly effecting this community. “They got to see the people’s faces and just how much this all meant to them and how appreciative they were.” The thought of someone using their own time to go and help out those in need, really shows people how much one can care and do. This is a great benefit for anyone to receive.
Volunteering does not need to be across the country to be deemed valuable or important. Volunteering at a local church or soup kitchen can really make a difference. Although it can be challenge to find time to go out and do these things, the benefits received back are significant and life changing. Many find it hard finding the right fit for volunteering. So when looking for volunteering opportunities, remember to find ones with meaningful organizations with important issues and one thats time manageable ad the fun memories and experiences will follow.